Reviewed: Moto X4

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Design 4.5/5

The Moto X4 is a handsome device. Metal sides sandwiched between glass on the front and back give this mid-ranger a really solid high-end feel. All the edges are nicely rounded and meld together very nicely, giving it a smooth look. It’s a standard candybar affair, with reasonably thin bezels, and a front-mounted fingerprint sensor. The back is bare, save for a slightly raised ring within which rests the dual cameras and flash unit, behind its own round protective glass shield. It’s a nice look, and with the centrally located Moto logo and gently tapering sides, really brings the whole phone together.

Three buttons on the left side of the phone control volume, and power the phone up.

Hardware 4/5

Launched late last year, the Moto X4 packs some solid current-gen hardware. The display is a perfectly sized 5.2 inches on the diagonal, with a 1080 x 1920 IPS panel behind Gorilla Glass 3, for protection. Running the show is a Snapdragon 620 chipset, with its octa-core processor ticking away at a busy 2.2 GHz. This is paired with a generous 4 GB of RAM for the 64 GB storage version. Shutterbugs will be pleased to know that the X4 has a dual 12 MP camera system that can also do HD video at 30 FPS. Overall, it’s a very solid mid-ranger housed in a top-tier body. As an additional bonus, you even get dual-sim connectivity, perfect for travelers, or if you just can’t pick your loyalties.

User Experience 4.5/5

After trying as many phones as we have, they tend to blur together after a while. The Moto X4 was a breath of fresh air. In a world where manufacturers still try to trump each other in screen sizes, the X4 and its 5.2-inch screen is great. It keeps the size easily pocketable, without sacrificing too much in viewing real estate.

The phone also has some good weight to it—not so much as to be considered heavy, but enough to let you know it’s a quality piece of hardware. Couple that with the glass back, and you’ve got a phone that feels much pricier than it actually is. It’s a neat trick, and one I do appreciate. Added to this, you actually get IP68 water and dust resistance, so it’s ready for all your adventures, dry or otherwise.

Another thing I really appreciate is the speed at which the fingerprint scanner triggers. I’ve said before that a slow scanner is something that will annoy you to no end before long. The scanner on the X4 recognizes your fingerprint and unlocks the device about as fast as a physical button press, as far as I can tell.

Moto has thankfully kept modifications to the OS to a minimum. The phone updates to Android 8.0, and the experience isn’t marred by a lot of extraneous features that tend to slow the device down. Users are of course free to install third-party launchers, but I found the stock one to be more than enough for all the functions I needed. As expected from the chipset and abundant RAM, the phone is perceptively fast. It responds quickly to user input, and launches apps without delay or lag.

The screen is bright, with vivid, saturated colors, even under sunlight, about as can be expected from an IPS panel. Games look great on the phone as well, so if that’s your thing, the X4 does not disappoint. All this is kept going by quite a large 3000 mAh battery for its size. With one SIM card installed, and location services off, I actually managed to squeeze out almost 20 hours of use, though with battery optimization on near the end. Impressive.

The dual camera setup allows you to take some dramatic bokeh shots, which work particularly well for portraits. Photos taken with the device offer the same bright, vivid colors any image on the display show, though at close magnification, details can be a little fuzzy. You do have to go in really deep to see that though, so for all the usual social media posts, and recording memories, it will do superbly.

There are a few things that I feel could be improved. The fingerprint scanner serves only to unlock the phone. Pressing it again doesn’t take you back to the home screen when you’re in an app or the app drawer. To do that, you’ll have to hit one of the on-screen buttons at the bottom of the display. It still causes some confusion when trying to go back to the home screen while watching a YouTube video, for example.

Overall though, the great things far outweigh the little niggles we experienced using the phone. The size, construction, and features all make it a great primary phone for those who might need to update from an earlier device.

Value: 3.5/5

At a sticker price of PHP 23,999, the Moto X4 isn’t cheap. Then again, neither are the features and build. It’s a device that looks a fair bit more expensive than it is, and it makes sense to put it at this price point. You get a lot, in a perfectly sized package, so overall it’s a nice deal.

Bottomline:

Top-midrange specs, gorgeous design, and a solid brand. What else are you asking for?

Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE February 2018 Issue.

Reviewed by Ren Alcantara

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